West Coast D3 Football: Chapman at Whitworth Recap & What’s Next?

Balanced and explosive the Pirates overwhelmed the Panthers, but can they continue their momentum into the second round?

Balanced and explosive the Pirates overwhelmed the Panthers, but can they continue their momentum into the second round?
Source: Caleb Flegel

Final Score

Chapman Panthers 28 | Whitworth Pirates 42

The Panthers fought hard in their first foray outside of Southern California since their no contest against Pacific in September. However, Whitworth was too explosive to contain.

On a 3rd & 2 from the Whitworth 12, Panthers QB Luke Peterman broke contain and ran in for the touchdown to tie the game at 14 with only 64 seconds remaining in the half. Whitworth had just enough time to add a score and momentum before halftime.

A 2nd & 7 pass from Austin Ewing found Dillon Kuk at midfield. A few plays later, the Pirates converted a 4th & 6. Another pass brought them to the one-yard line. They sent out RB Solo Hines to head their Wildcat package. He ran it in for his 3rd touchdown of the half from the Wildcat. "If it ain't broke. Don't fix it", right?

Whitworth never relinquished the lead. The 3rd quarter was scoreless until Austin Ewing found RB Luis Salgado for a 5-yard TD reception and a 28-14 lead with 2:39 remaining in the third.

On their next possession, the Pirates started deep in their territory, 90 yards from the end zone. Nonetheless, a few plays later, Hines turned a short pass from Ewing to an electric 66-yard touchdown.

The teams traded touchdowns over their next three possessions to preserve Whitworth's 14-point lead.

RB Gio Ursino led the Panthers with 73 yards and a TD on 14 carries as the team totaled 130 rushing yards on 36 carries.

Luke Peterman finished the season strong and continued to protect the ball, completing 19/27 for 236 yards and 2 TDs. He finished the season completing 79/115 (69%) for 1075 yards and 11 touchdowns with no interceptions. Peterman is a good athlete but stays in the pocket often. Although he takes sacks frequently, he excels at avoiding turnovers. The quarterback battle between him and Nathan Espinoza is intriguing.

Austin Ewing had another spectacular game for the Pirates. He hit 414 yards on 28/36 passing with 2 TDs. WR Evan Liggett had 126 yards on eight catches. Dillon Kuk had 97 yards on seven receptions. Luis Salgado led the teams with 99 rushing yards and a TD on only 13 carries while adding six receptions for 32 yards and a TD through the air.

Running back Solo Hines was the star of the day. He had 15 carries for 59 yards and three goal-line touchdowns as the quarterback in the Pirates Wildcat package. He also added 73 yards on two receptions with a touchdown. He has a longer and leaner frame than many running backs. His speed sets him apart from his counterparts.

The Pirates will travel to Waverly, Iowa's Wartburg College, who knocked off Illinois College 49-14 in the first round.

Wartburg has a single loss over the past two seasons, losing in the semifinals last season to Mount Union. They are a favorite to make a deep run in the Division III playoffs.

They are a well-rounded ball club, scoring 44 points per game and allowing just ten. Their opportunistic secondary has 20 interceptions in 11 games, and their run defense allows 38 yards per game.

Running back Hunter Clasen leads the Wartburg offense. He had 1584 yards and 21 TDs on 256 carries in 14 games last season. This year, he has more yards per game with 1345 yards and 19 TDs on 206 carries in 11 games thus far.

Whitworth needs to play a nearly perfect game to defeat mighty Wartburg.

Whitworth must avoid turnovers through the air to win. While Whitworth may not stop Wartburg's offense, they could keep pace with the

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